Day of victories for Pokhara teams in National Futsal LeagueHome city’s Sports castle overturn a 3-goal deficit to stun Dhuku Futsal 5-3 while Sabin Memorial edged Sky Goals 3-0 as the third round of the league completes.
Home city Pokhara's teams registered victories over the Capital city's teams on Thursday as Sports Castle staged a valiant comeback to stun Dhuku Futsal Hub 5-3 while Sabin Memorial FC beat Machhindra Sky Goals 3-2 in the 'A' Division National Futsal League at the Pokhara covered hall on Thursday.
Sports Castle, backed by roaring home supporters, overcame a first half deficit of three goals to beat one of the pre-tournament favourites Dhuku, scoring all goals after the break to continue their unbeaten streak.
Bikrant Narsingh Rana scored a brace including the opening goal and Urken Sherpa added another in between them as the Kathmandu-based Dhuku went into the break with a three-goal cushion.
But Dhuku's meltdown began two minutes into the restart after Yogesh Gurung made the breakthrough for Sports Castle before Khim Raj Gurung added two other goals in quick succession. Sumit Shrestha added another before Suraj Gurung sealed the victory with a fifth goal.
The victory lifted Sports Castle to second position with seven points, two points behind leaders The Rising Club of Dharan, at the completion of the third round of the league. Dhuku are seventh with three points.
Dhuku coach Raj Maharjan blamed injuries of four key players for the defeat. Goalie and captain Sumit Kumar Ale and Pemba Norbu Lama also picked up injuries on Thursday. Bishal Silwal and Amit Lama were injured in their previous matches.
"We played with well coordinated team effort and also got goals in the first half. But we lost two players to injury before the break adding to the list of injured players. The less experienced players failed to cope with home supporters' pressure because we had never played in front of such a big crowd," said Maharjan.
Sports Castle deputy coach Arwin Gurung said that his side paid the price of underestimating opponents in the first half.
"The opponents did not have some key players and the players executed the match plan in the second half. All credit goes to the players," said Gurung.
In the day's kick-off match, two first half goals created the base for Sabin Memorial's victory over Machhindra Sky Goals. Abhinash Tamang struck twice—one each in either half for Sabin Memorial before VardanTangbe Lama added one between them as the home city's team went into the break with a 2-1 lead.
Tamang, who opened the scoring in the early second minute, added another exactly two minutes after the restart. Aashish Sunam struck one each in either half for Machhindra Sky Goals.
Sabin Memorial climbed to second place with six points while Machhindra Sky Goals are eighth with three points.
Machhindra Sky Goals coach Ramesh Sinkeman blamed irresponsible refereeing for the defeat.
"The match was vital for us today and the poor decision of handball, foul and unnecessary cards cost the team dearly," said Sinkeman, adding that they would contest the referee’s decisions.
Sabin Memorial coach Rajendra Tamang owed the victory to the team's successful strategy.
The late fixture of the day saw Lumbini Futsal of Rupandehi and Futsal 5 of Dharan share points after a goalless draw. Futsal 5 are jointly in fourth place with two draws and a win while Lumbini are behind them with four points.